I learned a lot during my short wandering with the band. One lesson that stands out above others is with respect for food. It was an amazing experience, those first few hours of the journey. I was able to literally just stick my arm out and the Forest would place edibles in my hand. We should all be careful of where we step and what bushes we whack in the forest — you never know when you might be destroying someone else’s dinner. And if you’re out on a simple day hike, don’t eat all the berries in site. Save them for those that are really in need.
I’m thankful for the Forest. It was my teacher, provider, and home for the past 3 days. Come with an open mind, and it will be yours too. I hope it and others like it — especially Old Growth — will be around to teach generations to come.
I’m thankful for the two black bears who showed themselves to us on Saturday. That was the first time I’ve seen them in the wild.
I’m thankful for the Wilderness Awareness School for offering this experience, and acting as conduit for the Forest’s teachings.
I’m thankful for our band. They were a generation older than I, but after 3 days — after the first night’s fire — we were all family and the best of friends. Despite our individual pains and challenges, all did there best to provide for the group. I laughed more with them than I do with most.
I’m thankful for the creatures who placed their tracks, poop, and bodies in our path so that we could examine and learn from them. The deer skeleton we encountered on Sunday had a particular impact on me. Never before had I seen a full skeleton of that size in the wild. The spine was the most impressive.
I’m thankful for all the plants and animals that gave their lives to the band so that we could continue on.